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A demotion doesn't mean you have to settle

What higher management gives, it can taketh away -- and when youroverlings revoke that prestigious promotion, and dump you back onto thefactory floor with the proletariat, the reverse vertigo can leave youfeeling like a token trapped in the company's game of <em>Chutes and Ladders</em>.

What higher management gives, it can taketh away -- and when your overlings revoke that prestigious promotion, and dump you back onto the factory floor with the proletariat, the reverse vertigo can leave you feeling like a token trapped in the company's game of Chutes and Ladders.

The temptation for most corporate climbers who take a job title tumble is to hop up, dust off, and dive back in as if nothing ever happened. But if you'd truly like to bounce back, career counsellors warn, you ought to first seek a sanctuary where you can vent frustrations.

"You need to have a support system outside of work where you can express how you feel so you're not holding it in," New York City-based career coach Barbara Frankel says. "After you've gotten out your true anger related to it, express it to your boss where it's just at the level of disappointment. You can say, 'You know, I'm not happy about this, I really enjoyed and preferred that other job.'"

Once you've gathered a clear head, don't be afraid to drive a hard bargain.

"Most people start to feel like a chess piece, like they're just moving you around, so they don't step up and negotiate," Frankel adds. "You need to enlist your boss, and talk about what's possible from here."

"It may be that your company doesn't see you as a big contributor and this could be an opportunity for you to step up," she adds.

If there's no possible way to view your demotion as an opportunity, it can always be an opportunity to leave.

"No one's got a gun to your head, forcing you to accept the situation," offers Maggie Mistal, host of Sirius Radio's Making a Living. "It's still a choice you're making."

So whatever you decide, make it deliberate, she suggests. And don't feel like you have to bum around in a degrading post just to keep your résumé in tact.

"If the resentment is that bad, keep job hunting and going for the job you're geared towards," Mistal continues. "You can always justify that to a future employer.

 
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